Legion prepares for
oratorical contest
Preparations are currently underway by The American Legion Department of Connecticut for its annual Constitutional Oratorical Contest, according to District #4 Committee Chairman Charles Crowley, commander of Post #21 Danielson.
The District #4 contest will be held Feb. 12 at the Woodstock Academy.  The winners of the seven Connecticut Districts then convene in March for the right to represent Connecticut in the National competition, which is held in April in Indianapolis.
High school students under the age of 20 who are interested in more information should contact Posts in their geographic area or contact District #4 Committee Chairman Charles Crowley at 860-481-2963 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. American Legion Posts in District #4 are Post #13 Putnam; Post #14 Rockville; Post #19 Willimantic; Post #21 Danielson; Post #26 Stafford Springs; Post #52 Coventry-Mansfield; Post #62 Ellington; Post #67 North Grosvenordale; Post #91 Moosup; Post #95 Hebron; Post #101 Somers; Post #111 Woodstock; and Post #203 Eastford.  
The program, which is open to high school students under the age of 20, has been in existence since 1938.  Local oratorical contests, overseen by local Legion Posts, are conducted in the month of January.  The winners of the local contests move on to the District level competition in February.  
The goal of the contest is to encourage the development of public speaking, leadership, and an understanding of our nation’s laws as they pertain to the Constitution.  Each contestant is asked to make an eight to 10-minute prepared oration on a predetermined aspect of the Constitution.  The second part of the contest involves a randomly assigned constitutional topic that they are expected to speak on for between three and five minutes.
Working with Chairman Crowley On the District #4 committee are Everett G. Shepard III and Sam Resnick of Post #111 – Woodstock; District #4 Commander Antonio Rendon of Post #91 – Moosup; and Past District Commander Ronald P. Coderre of Post #13 – Putnam.
“This annual contest is one facet of the American Legion’s focus on Americanism and Children and Youth.  As veterans our goal is to bring an understanding to today’s young people of the values our Founding Fathers placed on the freedoms we enjoy today as American citizens,” said Crowley.
Due to the COVID – 19 coronavirus the 2021contest was cancelled.  The 2020 District contest was won by Lucas Johnson, then a sophomore at H.H. Ellis Technical School.  His topic was “The Dangers of Constitutional Ignorance.”  Johnson was sponsored by the L’Homme-Burdick Post #21 of Danielson.  Johnson moved on the Department of Connecticut contest.  He was the Department runner-up in the 2020 contest.


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